Today, Governor Rick Scott signed Executive Order 16-29 which directs State Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong to declare a public health emergency in the four counties, including Lee, which have the Zika virus (to view the press release and access the Executive Order, please click HERE). While all of the reported cases in Florida were travel-related and NOT acquired in the United States, the public health emergency is precautionary to ensure Florida is prepared and stays ahead of the spread of the virus.
Symptoms: According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Zika fever illness is generally mild with a rash, fever and joint pain. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. The Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for about a week but it can be found longer in some people. CDC researchers are examining a POSSIBLE link between the virus and unborn babies exposed during pregnancy.
Prevention: The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness and it is recommended to drain standing water, cover skin with repellent and clothing, cover windows with screens, and take other basic actions to help control mosquitoes and prevent bites. The Florida Department of Heath has developed the following PSA video regarding "Drain and Cover" and preventing mosquito bites.
Information on the Zika virus can also be found at the following websites:
or by calling the Zika Virus Information Hotline at (855) 622-6735.